Email Marketing: MailChimp vs. HubSpot
One of the standard questions that I have received during the Email Marketing session is,
"With the high number of junk mails and increasing usage of social media communication channels such as WhatsApp, is Email Marketing still effective?"
Indeed. With the rising of active users in WhatsApp as well as the trend in social commerce, I see the potential of social media communication channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to replace Email Marketing eventually but at this point in time, email communication is still the best practice for brands and businesses. According to Smart Insights (2021), marketers rated email as the most commonly used form of communication for contacting customers, and it can be used across the entire customer lifecycle to encourage Customer Acquisition (Purchase/Conversion) and Retention (Repeat Purchase).
Extension from your Content Strategy
As I have explained in the article regarding Content Marketing, email content is one of the extensions of your content strategy with a dedicated content goal such as Educational (Nurturing Lead), Promotional (Encourage Sales), or Rewarding (Relationship Building). One of the popular trends is embedding User-generated Content (UGC) into Email Marketing in order to increase brand trustworthiness. One of the great examples that I have spotted from a local florist business in Malaysia - 'BloomThis' as below.
(1) Started with an introduction of email purpose (Content Theme), using image & text format
(2) Showcasing UGC from social media - Instagram and link it with text and button that direct viewers to respective product categories
(3) Enhance the brand trustworthiness with further UGC from Search Engine - Google Business Reviews
PERSONALISE & AUTOMATION are the main strategies
We understand "The consumer is king". Therefore, personalise content is the most commonly used strategy in Email Marketing. In order to offer personalised content, we must first know the audience. This is why Customer Segmentation is crucial before we draft the email content (Email Newsletter/ Email Direct Mailer - EDM) template. On top of that, we also want to look into the automation setting of email content distribution (Part of the Artificial Intelligence - AI feature) to ensure a seamless and effective communication process (Relevant & Engaging) with our audience.
Most commonly used tool for Email Marketing: MailChimp & Hubspot
So audience (Including potential and existing customers) management is playing a major role in Email Marketing, and this is also considered as part of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The most commonly used tools (Software/ System/ App) are MailChimp and HubSpot, which can be integrated into any website. However, popular site builders like Shopify and WIX also have their own Email Marketing app to support similar functions in email communication and customer relationship management.
Both MailChimp and HubSpot are providing the same standard features in Email Marketing including drag-and-drop email content editor, eCommerce email template, content personalisation, A/B testing setting with comparative reports and campaign data analytics. However, HubSpot is more recognisable with greater strength in CRM which works really well with larger organisations with a dedicated support team to handle customer enquiries.
Source: MailChimp Customer Journeys Builder (2021)
MailChimp Customer Journeys Builder
Nevertheless, MailChimp is picking up with some new initiatives as well where we can see from their recent launch of the customer journeys builder for all free plan users to plan the content automation workflows. A similar feature is available in HubSpot but under the paid/ professional plan.
A transparent comparison between the two companies can be retrieved from their official website as below:
Email Marketing is one of my topics of discussion during the below courses with Redbeat Academy:
16-hours Digital Marketing 101 (Day 1 Email Marketing)
Smart Insights (2021) eBook. Email Marketing Trends 2021
HubSpot Article: https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/email/best/mailchimp-alternatives
MailChimp Article: https://mailchimp.com/resources/mailchimp-vs-hubspot/